Obesity, depression linked?

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Washington, Jun 3: Obesity and depression are not just two different health conditions, but they have an astonishing interrelationship, according to new research. A review in the journal Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice says that obese people have a higher likelihood of becoming depressed, and that those depressed may be more likely to become obese.

Rutgers University's Sarah M Markowitz has revealed that to understand the potential link between obesity and depression, she examined the co-relational data that suggested a connection between the conditions, and found evidence for causal pathways from obesity to depression and depression to obesity. She says that obese people may be more likely to become depressed because they are usually dissatisfied with their health and appearance, something more prevalent among women and those having high socio-economic status.

The researcher adds that depression, on the other hand, may lead to certain physiological changes in a person's hormone and immune systems that may be key to the occurrence of obesity.

Another reason for a higher likelihood of obesity among such people is the fact that they have more difficulty taking good care of themselves, because of symptoms and consequences of depression.

Sarah says that depressed people often face problems like difficulty in adhering to fitness, overeating, and having negative thoughts.

According to her, exercise and stress reduction may helpfully monitor obesity and depression simultaneously.

She recommends minimizing dieting because it can worsen mood, and the use of antidepressants as it can cause weight gain.

"The treatment of depression and obesity should be integrated. This way, healthcare providers are working together to treat both conditions, rather than each in isolation," the authors of the review conclude.


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